The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory is a romance historical-fiction novel originally published in 2003. Based on the author’s reading order suggestion, which follows real world chronology, it is the 12th book in The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (combination of Tudor Court and Cousins’ War series). The series is a fictionalized version of English history, especially focusing on important female royal figures.
The story in this book focuses on Hannah Green, a Jewish girl who was chosen to be a fool to Edward VI. Her new position was right in the middle of an intrigue involving the 1st Earl of Leicester (Robert Dudley), Mary I, and Elizabeth I of England.
Based on Phillipa Gregory’s reading order suggestion, the book is preceded by The Taming of the Queen (book 11) and followed by The Virgin’s Lover (book 13). (You can find other books in the series here.)
Cover and Details of The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory (PDF)
- Title: The Queen’s Fool (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, Book 12)
- Author: Philippa Gregory
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Date Published: November 1, 2003
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007166591
- ISBN-13: 9780007166596
Summary of the Book
Winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee with her father from their home in Spain. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee; she has the gift of “Sight,” the ability to foresee the future, priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court.
Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward’s protector, who brings her to court as a “holy fool” for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up with her own yearnings and desires.
Reviews of The Queen’s Fool
I like the whole “Tudor” series for its characterizations and views into what that court and lifestyle was like. However, this one is my favorite. It’s a view from someone who must hide in full view; a total alien to the courtly lifestyle who must figure out which alliances to keep, and which secrets, to preserve her life as she becomes increasingly part of this new world. The author makes it clear how difficult it was to be Jewish in Tudor England; even before the focus on doctrine given by the reformation it was a life of defense and hiding. And, the author uses that to show us what the court would be like, and how one would get swept up into it, as a basically normal person trying to get by. I found it very interesting. (by Cambridge JD, amazon.com)
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